It’s no secret that Greg the Frequent Miler is big fan of Alila Ventana Big Sur, he was blown away with his first stay in 2020 (before it was all-inclusive) and rewowed by his second go-round. On a recent podcast, Greg also discussed how difficult it is to find standard room award availability…I’ve heard a rumor that he installed a designated “Ventana” phone-line strictly to be able to keep tabs on up-to-the-minute inventory.
Yesterday, one of the members of Frequent Miler Insiders alerted us to a significant tranche of Ventana availability that has opened for Spring 2023. It starts in February and goes through the end of the calendar In May. Both weekend (Feb/Mar only) and midweek (Feb-May) stays are available. At 40-45,000 points per night, it may not be the hot ticket it was before moving to category 8, but I still imagine this availability won’t last long.
for 40,000 points/night (standard)
- M-Thurs each week in February (including President’s Day weekend)
- M-Thurs until March 10th
for 45,000 points/night (peak)
- Every weekend in February
- Two weekends in March (3-5, 10-12)
- M-Thurs, first and third weeks of April
- M-Thurs, every week in May
Ventana availability seems to go in fits and starts, it seems like it gets dropped in chunks with little-to-no rhyme or reason. The fact that both weekends near Valentine’s Day are open, as well as every midweek in May, is pretty amazing given normal availability patterns. This might indicate a slackening of points demand since the standard rate was hiked-up 33%…although with nightly rates that start at around $2000 (all inclusive), it’s still a very high-value redemption.
I’m going there this weekend with my wife and there are some change to the included activities since Greg was last there in February. Falconry and Beekeeping were complimentary then, but are now supplemental…$200pp for Falconry and $90pp to “be put in mortal danger” with bees, as Nick puts it:). I doubt that change will be a deal killer for anyone already interested, but it was disappointing to hear.
Keep in mind that Hyatt Globalists can book a Points Advance Reservation, where you can make a reservation without having enough points in your account. The reservation is made with no points deduction but then you need have the points in your account by 7 days from arrival or else your reservation gets converted to a paid stay. I often do this intentionally with more expensive stays, even if I have access to enough points to make the reservation, as it keeps those points from getting tied-up for months. The easiest way to make a Points Advance Reservation is to call the Globalist line.
Ventana Big Sur isn’t the screaming deal that it used to be, 90,000 points for a weekend is steep, indeed. That said, if you’ve got the points and you’ve been wanting to try this property out, book sooner than later…especially if you’re looking for a weekend or for a time in May.